Well, we wouldn’t want this blog to be Sagada-centric but this article by Gina Dizon on the conflict between iSagadas and a tourist might serve as an example to other municipalities as more and more foreigners are settling in the Cordilleras. It would be interesting to see how this problem will be resolved.
Angry Sagada folk want tourist out; declare him persona non grata
By Gina Dizon
SAGADA, Mountain Province — For inconsiderate behavior and depriving villagers of their water supply, angry folks here declared resident Austrian tourist Ernest Michael Reiseneder persona non grata saying they wanted him out of their village.
In a series of meetings early this year, barangay officials with a number of residents from Sitio Bitin and Barangay Ambasing declared they wanted Reiseneder out of the village as soon as possible and gave him till the end of March to leave.
As of presstime however, Reiseneder still lives in a rented house at Bitin.
Residents said Reiseneder siphoned water from the community water tank and reportedly used the water ‘extravagantly’ on his garden while the people nearby needed water badly for their domestic use.
Reisender’s siphoning water from the community tank started as early as November last year.
With the peak of the summer season, residents suffered immensely from lack of water, Kagawad Bernard Wassit said.
Local folks source their water from the tank located within the compound where Reiseneder lives with his Filipina partner.
Residents here also complained of Reiseneder having allegedly destroyed the public cemented pathway aside from reportedly, other inconsiderate acts which the people didn’t like.
Early last month, Wassit, neighbor of Reiseneder reported to police the latter allegedly burned Ambogawid Watershed on May 5.
A local help, Junifer ‘Coy-o’ Guidalos, said Reiseneder burned dried leaves which spread throughout the watershed.
Residents also forwarded a letter to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources asking for their appropriate action on the alleged cutting of trees by Reiseneder with the help of hired locals.
Their grievances were forwarded to the office of the municipal mayor for the latter’s appropriate action.
Barangay officials said they would file the appropriate cases against Reiseneder.